24-hour help

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The Independent Online
IN HER article "No help in times of trauma" (4 December), Angela Neustatter reported on the terrors of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the apparent lack of emotional support available.

For many, the impact of a trauma is most painful months or even years after media and public interest has gone. Indeed, that trauma could be the result of an event which will never be forgotten by them, but slips away from the memory of others.

However, Ms Neustatter emphasised only the vacuum of support. She did not mention that for those experiencing crisis and possibly suicidal feelings, there is an option - available 24 hours a day, every day - the Samaritans. Our service complements the work of doctors and counsellors. It costs only the price of a phone call and is there when clinics are closed. Volunteers listen without judgement for as long as the person needs. Details of local branches are in the phone book. The knowledge could be life-saving.

Simon Armson Chief Executive The Samaritans Slough